Courses for Fall 2020

Title Instructor Location Time All taxonomy terms Description Section Description Cross Listings Fulfills Registration Notes Syllabus Syllabus URL Course Syllabus URL
LALS 060-401 Intro To Latinx Cultural Studies Jennifer Lyn Sternad Ponce De Leon MW 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This course offers a broad introduction to the study of Latina/o/x culture. We will examine literature, theater, visual art, and popular cultural forms, including murals, poster art, graffiti, guerrilla urban interventions, novels, poetry, short stories, and film. In each instance, we will study this work within its historical context and with close attention to the ways it illuminates class formation, racialization, and ideologies of gender and sexuality as they shape Latino/a/xs' experience in the U.S. Topics addressed in the course will include immigration and border policy, revolutionary nationalism and its critique, anti-imperialist thought, Latinx feminisms, queer latinidades, ideology, identity formation, and social movements. While we will address key texts, historical events, and intellectual currents from the late 19th century and early 20th century, the course will focus primarily on literature and art from the 1960s to the present. All texts will be in English. COML070401, GSWS060401, ENGL070401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span>
LALS 070-401 Colonial Latin America Marcia Susan Norton MW 01:00 PM-02:00 PM The year 1492 was pivotal in the history of the world. It precipitated huge population movements within the Americas and across the Atlantic - a majority of them involuntary as in the case of indigenous and African people who were kidnapped and enslaved. It led to cataclysmic cultural upheavals, including the formation of new cultures in spaces inhabited by people of African, European and indigenous descent. This course explores the processes of destruction and creation in the region known today as Latin America in the period 1400 - 1800. Class readings are primary sources and provide opportunities to learn methods of source analysis in contexts marked by radically asymmetrical power relationships. HIST070401 History & Tradition Sector (all classes) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
LALS 073-401 Lit and Visual Art: Radical Arts in Americas Jennifer Lyn Sternad Ponce De Leon MW 02:00 PM-03:30 PM This course explores the complex and fruitful relationship between literature and the visual arts, including painting, sculpture, installations, and performance art. COML073401, CIMS073401, ARTH299401, THAR073401, ENGL073401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span>
LALS 091-401 Sustainable Development and Culture in Latin America Teresa Gimenez MW 02:00 PM-03:30 PM This interdisciplinary course exposes students to the three dimensions of sustainable development -environmental, economic, and social- through an examination of three products -peyote, coca, and coffee- that are crucial in shaping modern identity in areas of Latin America. The course integrates this analysis of sustainable development in relation to cultural sustainability and cultural practices associated with peyote, coca, and coffee and their rich, traditional heritage and place in literature, film, and the arts. ENVS091401, SPAN091401, ANTH091401
LALS 092-401 Corona Capitalism: Crisis and Inequality Across the Americas Veronica Violet Brownstone W 02:00 PM-05:00 PM The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated existing social inequalities. It has also accelerated the pace of history so sharply that the course of events has become nearly impossible to predict. This CWiC critical speaking seminar takes as its starting point our shared participation in the experience of uncertainty. At the same time, in looking to Latin America and the US, it articulates the fact that COVID-19 is anything but a "great equalizer": its impact varies widely and decisively across race, class, and gender. As the world confronts multiple layers of wreckage, not only biological but also ecological and economic, how can we frame and communicate both uncertainty and truth in a thoughtful way? We will examine social problems that have been laid bare by the pandemic and have since become sites of ethical and political reevaluation, namely health disparities, ecological racism, the distribution of labor, and criminal justice. This seminar's aim is to collaboratively assess one fundamental question: How can we understand COVID-19 not as an exceptional moment in history, but as a crisis of racial capitalism? By studying media, activism, policy, and scholarship produced during the pandemic alongside foundational critical theory, students will gain the analytical tools to contextualize its disproportionate global impact on poor communities and people of color, and to envision a just post-pandemic recovery. We will engage Marxist, feminist, and anti-racist theoretical approaches, and while familiarity with these methods is not necessary, an openness to them is. Self-examination is crucial to the success of the course, which requires students reflect on their own political, intellectual, and emotional investments in racialized inequality. This is a speaking intensive seminar intended to improve students' oral communication and listening skills through class discussions, prepared presentations, and mixed-media communication projects. Conducted in English. SPAN092401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Communication Within the Curriculum</span>
LALS 174-401 Capitalism, Socialism and Crisis in the 20th Century Americas Amy C Offner TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM From the crisis of the Great Depression through the 1970s, the United States and Latin America produced remarkable efforts to remake society and political economy. This course analyzes the Cuban and Guatemalan revolutions, as well as social movements that transformed the United States: the black freedom movement, the labor movement, and changing forms of Latino politics. In all three countries, Americans looked for ways to reform capitalism or build socialism; address entrenched patterns of racism; define and realize democracy; and achieve national independence. They conceived of these challenges in dramatically different ways. Together, we'll compare national histories and analyze the relationships between national upheavals. In studying the US and Latin America together, the class allows students to explore central questions in both regions' histories. What did capitalism, socialism, and communism amount to? What did democracy mean? What were the roots of racial inequality and how did Americans address it? Why were Americans so enticed by economic growth, and how did they pursue it? How did the Cold War shape social movements? What purposes did unions serve? How did Christianity inform movements for and against social change? Studying these regions together also allows us to explore international interactions. How did the black freedom movement in the US relate to the Cuban revolution? How did Latin American immigration shape the US labor movement? How did US Cold War policy influence Latin American revolutionary movements? The goal of this class is for you to interpret the readings and decide what you think. What you learn in this class, and the quality of our experience together, depends on your reading closely, coming to class with informed ideas and questions, and being prepared to help your classmates answer theirs. We will read approximately 100 pages per week. No background is required. HIST174401 History & Tradition Sector (all classes)
LALS 175-401 History of Brazil Melissa Teixeira MW 02:00 PM-03:30 PM With its booming economy, the recent inauguration of its first female president, and its selection as host to the 2012 World Cup and Olympic games, Brazil is growing in global prestige. But amid all these exciting developments are devastating socioeconomic inequalities. Access to safe living conditions, livable wages, higher education, and overall social mobility remain painfully out of reach to many Brazilians, the majority of whom are the descendants of slaves. Why do these problems persist in a country that has had such an enduring and widespread reputation as a "racial democracy"? What are the possibilities of closing the equality gap in Brazil? HIST175401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span>
LALS 177-401 Colonial Pasts & Indigenous Futures: A History of Belize & Central America Richard M Leventhal CANCELED The small country of Belize (formerly British Honduras) represents the past history and ongoing story of Central America and the region. Belize has a colonial past and present with strong ties to the UK and emerging connections to the US. At the same time, there is a growing post-colonial debate within the country about the role of indigenous Maya people in the past, present and future of the country. This course will be the first of two courses which will lead to active work in Belize during the summer of 2021 with the development and creation of a Community Museum within the Maya village of Indian Creek in southern Belize. This course will be taught by Richard M. Leventhal who has worked in Belize for the past 20 years. Leventhal will be joined by 3 Maya activists from Belize who will co-teach the class for 5-6 weeks out of the semester. ANTH177401, HIST073401
LALS 180-401 From Ayahuasca To Zoloft: Anthropological Approaches To Drugs & Drug Use Morgan K. Hoke MW 03:30 PM-05:00 PM In this course we will consider the cultural, social, political, medical, and biological aspects of drugs (legal, illegal, pharmaceutical, botanical, and otherwise) through space and time. We will take a broad approach, thinking critically about what, who, and under what circumstances a given substance becomes a "drug." In doing so, we will be able to interrogate the linguistic dimensions of drugs, considering the way in which language creates social worlds and social meanings. We will explore different kinds of drugs, their origins, biochemical properties, and the biological pathways through which they affect us. We will also think about how drugs and drug use has changed over time, taking a cross-cultural and materialist perspective to investigate drug use past and present. Topics we will address include debates over the commercialization, criminalization, and decriminalization of hallucinogenic plants such as marijuana, the recent use of drugs ranging from LSD to magic mushrooms to treat depression and other mental illnesses, the legacies of colonialism and botanical migrations, the ethics of the pharmaceutical industry, and comparative explorations of the language about and approaches to addressing both the "crack epidemic" of the early 80s and 90s and the current opioid crisis. We will read both classic anthropological texts including ethnographies as well as works from other disciplines including science studies, biology, history, ethnobotany, and sociology. ANTH180401
LALS 232-401 Race and Ethnic Politics Daniel Q Gillion TR 10:30 AM-11:30 AM This course examines the role of race and ethnicity in the political discourse through a comparative survey of recent literature on the historical and contemporary political experiences of the four major minority groups (Blacks or African Americans, American Indians, Latinos or Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans). A few of the key topics will include assimilation and acculturation seen in the Asian American community, understanding the political direction of Black America in a pre and post Civil Rights era, and assessing the emergence of Hispanics as the largest minority group and the political impact of this demographic change. Throughout the semester, the course will introduce students to significant minority legislation, political behavior, social movements, litigation/court rulings, media, and various forms of public opinion that have shaped the history of racial and ethnic minority relations in this country. Readings are drawn from books and articles written by contemporary political scientists. AFRC232401, PSCI231401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
LALS 233-601 People and Power in Modern Mexico Juan Manuel Lombera MW 05:00 PM-06:30 PM Topics vary HIST233601 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course Online: Synchronous Format</span>
LALS 240-401 Contemp Brazilian Cinema Mercia Flannery TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM Topics vary. For current course description, please see department's webpage: CIMS232401, PRTG240401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span>
LALS 274-601 Facing America William D Schmenner W 05:30 PM-08:30 PM This course explores the visual history of race in the United States as both self-fashioning and cultural mythology by examining the ways that conceptions of Native American, Latino, and Asian identity, alongside ideas of Blackness and Whiteness, have combined to create the various cultural ideologies of class, gender, and sexuality that remain evident in historical visual and material culture. We also investigate the ways that these creations have subsequently helped to launch new visual entertainments, including museum spectacles, blackface minstrelsy, and early film, from the colonial period through the 1940s. ARTH274601, ARTH674601, CIMS293601, AFRC294601, ASAM294601 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course Online: Synchronous Format</span>
LALS 310-401 Transdisciplinary Environmental Humanities Marilyn Howarth
Kristina M Lyons
T 01:30 PM-04:30 PM Emergent transdisciplinary fields, such as the environmental humanities, reflect a growing awareness that responses to contemporary environmental dilemmas require the collaborative work of not only diverse scientists, medical practitioners, and engineers, but also more expansive publics, including artists, urban and rural communities, social scientists, and legal fields. This course is inspired by the need to attend to environmental challenges, and their health, justice, and knowledge production implications, as inherently social concerns. The class is co-taught by faculty from the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine, and will address the challenges and possibilities of working across disciplinary boundaries, building collaborative affinities, and negotiating frictions between diverse methodologies and epistemological approaches. Dr. Kristina Lyons from the Department of Anthropology brings years of experience collaborating with soil scientists, small farmers, indigenous communities, lawyers, and judges in Colombia on watershed restoration projects, soil degradation, toxicity, and the implementation of socio-ecological justice. Dr. Marilyn Howarth is a medical doctor from the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology of the School of Medicine and has experience engaging the public, legislators and regulators around environmental health issues affecting the quality of air, water, soil and consumer products. Through their different lenses, they will foster interdisciplinary environmental collaboration and scholarship by engaging students in discussions and research that bring together the arts and sciences regarding issues of urban air pollution, soil remediation, deforestation, and water contamination, among other environmental health problems. This inaugural course seeks to explore environmental humanities on the global scale. Using Dr. Lyons' deep insight and valuable connections to communities in Colombia, we will explore the experience of environmental degradation, opportunities and challenges for mitigation, and socio-environmental health implications there while placing these issues in conversation with U.S. public health, regulatory and political frameworks and community experiences on similar issues. A comparative exploration of environmental justice in both Colombia and the U.S. will be infused into much of the discussion. This class offers a unique opportunity for students from engineering, natural and social sciences, humanities and the arts to learn to converse and collaborate around pressing socio-environmental and public health issues. ANTH310401
LALS 328-401 Diplomacy in the Americas: the Penn Model Oas Program Catherine E.M. Bartch T 04:30 PM-06:00 PM
R 04:30 PM-06:00 PM
"Diplomacy in the Americas" an academically based community service course in which students work with Philadelphia and Norristown public school students to explore solutions to critical problems facing the Americas. Entrenched political, economic, and social inequality, combined with environmental degradation, weak institutions, pervasive health epidemics, weapon proliferation, and other issues pose formidable hurdles for strengthening democratic ideals and institutions. The Organization of the American States (OAS), the world's oldest regional organization, is uniquely poised to confront these challenges. "Diplomacy in the Americas" guides students through the process of writing policy resolutions as though the students were Organization of the American States (OAS) diplomats, basing their research and proposals on democracy, development, security, and human rights - the four pillars of the OAS. Students will also read literature about what it means to educate for a democracy and global citizenry, and they will have the opportunity to turn theory into practice by creating and executing curriculum to teach and mentor the high school students through interactive and experiential pedagogies. PSCI328401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">An Academically Based Community Serv Course</span>
LALS 350-401 Archaeology of Civilizations in South America Clark Lowden Erickson CANCELED This course provides a basic survey of the archaeology of civilizations of South America (the Andean region of the central highland and coastal areas that today are Peru and Bolivia and parts of Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina). Topics include the history of South American archaeology, peopling of the continent, origins and evolution of agriculture, early village life, ceremonial and domestic architecture, prehistoric art and symbolism, Andean cosmology and astronomy, indigenous technology, the historical ecology of landscapes, outside contacts and relationships, economics and trade, social and political structure, state formation and urbanism, and early contacts with Europeans. The lectures and readings are based on recent archaeological investigations and interpretations combined with appropriate analogy from ethnohistory and ethnography. The prehistory of the Amazonian lowlands and northern South America will be covered in other courses. ANTH350401
LALS 388-401 Cyborgs, Robots and Gadgets: Technologies in Hispanic Cinema Reyes Caballo-Marquez MWF 11:00 AM-12:00 PM Topics vary. Please see the Spanish Department's website for the current course description: CIMS388401, SPAN388401
LALS 391-401 Sustainable Development and Culture in Latin America Teresa Gimenez MWF 12:00 PM-01:00 PM This interdisciplinary course exposes students to the three dimensions of sustainable development -environmental, economic, and social- through an examination of three products -peyote, coca, and coffee- that are crucial in shaping modern identity in areas of Latin America. The course integrates this analysis of sustainable development in relation to cultural sustainability and cultural practices associated with peyote, coca, and coffee and their rich, traditional heritage and place in literature, film, and the arts. This is an upper level seminar open to majors and minors of Spanish and those who have completed Pre-requiste SPAN 219 or SPAN 223 or permission of the Undergraduate Chair. SPAN391401, ENVS391401
LALS 394-401 Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Contemporary Latin American Literature Oscar Montoya MWF 10:00 AM-11:00 AM Topics vary. Please see the Spanish Department's website for the current course description: SPAN394401
LALS 394-402 Birthing Themselves: Latin American and Caribbean Black Women Writers Odette Casamayor TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM Topics vary. Please see the Spanish Department's website for the current course description: SPAN394402
LALS 394-403 The Picaresque Novel Jorge Tellez TR 01:30 PM-03:00 PM Topics vary. Please see the Spanish Department's website for the current course description: SPAN394403
LALS 397-401 Latin American Non-Fiction Jorge Tellez TR 10:30 AM-12:00 PM Topics vary. Please see the Spanish Department's website for the current course description: SPAN396401
LALS 398-401 Body and Soul: Hispanic Perspectives On Health, Illness and Healthcare Linda Grabner Travis TR 03:00 PM-04:30 PM Topics vary. Please see the Spanish Department's website for the current course description: SPAN397401
LALS 424-401 Latinx Communities and the Role of Cbo's in Social Change W 05:30 PM-08:30 PM The purpose of this course to create a Latino Studies/Service Learning ABCS course that cultivates dialogue and knowledge about the social, political, cultural and historical complexities of the Latinx experience in the United States (Philadelphia in particular) and the roles Latinx CBO's play in meeting the needs of Latinx communities and in impacting social change. SOCI424401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">An Academically Based Community Serv Course</span>
LALS 511-401 Ethics, Archaeology & Cultural Heritage Richard M Leventhal T 01:30 PM-04:30 PM This seminar will explore some of the most important issues that are now a central part of archaeological, anthropological and historical research throughout the world. The identification and control of cultural heritage is a central part of the framework for research within other communities. Issues for this course will also include cultural identity, human rights, repatriation, colonialism, working with communities and many other topics. Field research today must be based upon a new series of ethical standards that will be discussed and examined within this class. Major topics include: cultural heritage - definitions and constructs, cosmopolitanism and collecting, archaeology and looting, cultural heritage preservation, museums - universal and national, museum acquisition policies, cultural identity, international conventions (including underwater issues), national laws of ownership, community based development, cultural tourism, development models, and human rights. ANTH511401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Undergraduates Need Permission</span>
LALS 512-401 Passion Projects: Radical Experiments in Writing Plays, Screenplays, Solo Shows, and Pilots Ricardo Bracho R 04:30 PM-07:30 PM This creative writing workshop will focus on writing for screen, stage and internet and is open to undergraduate and graduate students at every level of writing experience. The course will be writing intensive and also include the reading and analysis of feminist, trans, queer, working class and racially liberatory plays, films, television and performance as models of inspiration. Meditation, drawing, theater games, improv exercises, screenings and outings to see work on and off campus will round out this holistic and experimental approach to making work that illuminates and entertains audiences from across the US and global audience spectrum. ENGL134401, GSWS512401
LALS 656-401 Tpcs in Blk Poli Thought: Topics in Black Political Thought Michael G. Hanchard W 05:00 PM-08:00 PM This course is designed to familiarize graduate students with some of the key texts and debates in Africana Studies concerning the relationship between racial slavery, modernity and politics. Beginning with the Haitian Revolution, much of black political thought (thinking and doing politics) has advocated group solidarity and cohesion in the face of often overwhelming conditions of servitude, enslavement and coercion within the political economy of slavery and the moral economy of white supremacy. Ideas and practices of freedom however, articulated by political actors and intellectuals alike, have been as varied as the routes to freedom itself. Thus, ideas and practices of liberty, citizenship and political community within many African and Afro-descendant communities have revealed multiple, often competing forms of political imagination. The multiple and varied forms of political imagination, represented in the writings of thinkers like Eric Williams, Richard Wright, Carole Boyce Davies and others, complicates any understanding of black political thought as having a single origin, genealogy or objective. Students will engage these and other authors in an effort to track black political thought's consonance and dissonance with Western feminisms, Marxism, nationalism and related phenomena and ideologies of the 20th and now 21st century. PSCI612401, GSWS655401, AFRC655401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">For PhD Students Only</span>
LALS 697-401 Caribbean Thought Odette Casamayor T 03:00 PM-06:00 PM Topics vary. Please see the Spanish Department's website for the current course description: SPAN697401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Undergraduates Need Permission</span>
LALS 697-402 Latin American Literature and the Agrarian Question Ericka Beckman R 02:00 PM-05:00 PM Topics vary. Please see the Spanish Department's website for the current course description: SPAN697402 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Undergraduates Need Permission</span>